Brazil floods death toll rises, at least 356 in Rio de Janeiro, thousands homeless

By on Jan 13, 2011 in Natural Disasters, South America Comments

Brazil floods death toll rises to at least 356 in Rio de Janiero state, thousands of people reportedly injured and homeless continue to increase, apparently due to landslides caused by continuous heavy rains since last week.

According to Brazilian news sites, Rio de Janeiro state civil defense reported that the death toll reached to 356 in the mountainous region of Rio de Janiero, left thousands of people now homeless, and injured.

In a local television interview on Wednesday afternoon, Teresopolis mayor Jorge Mario Sedlacek said the city is one of the worst hit cities, as houses collapsed and cars and bodies floated through the streets.

“More than 500 homeless and at least 15 districts have been affected by the rains.” Mayor Sedlacek said.

“This is the worst catastrophe in the history of the city,” The mayor said, as residents have evacuated their homes and went to higher places, as he declared his city now a natural disaster area.

Reports also said that the state’s Fire Department initial report revealed that there had more than 30 landslides from Tuesday night until early hours of Wednesday, and final report will be released after the entire rescue operation ends.

On the other hand, Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral said that all departments of his office and operational areas of the state to strengthen their rescue operation.

Heavy rains that resulted to floods also affect Nova Friburgo, Petropolis, and Sao Paulo, where there were also reported casualties and homeless families.

Meanwhile, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced his plans on Thursday about his helicopter tour to the affected areas particularly Rio de Janeiro, and apparently released a $465 million in federal funds for relief operations.

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